Baking french fries
I was feeling a little lazy this evening so I decided to do some ‘easy’ cooking. I made french fries without frying them in oil, just baked them. I had a 1 kg pack of french fries in the freezer for moments like this. This is really easy to do especially once you know what is the best timing for your taste.
I poured some salt and oil liberally on the chips and mixed them by hand. You could use any oil, corn oil, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil depending on your preference.
The truly lazy way of making french fries
Once mixed I placed the tray of chips in a preheated oven. I had heated the oven for 15 minutes at 150’C (300’F). This is not a very high temperature and I used this temperature in order to cook the potato chips slowly. Remember, the chips are coming straight out of the freezer so they would be frozen. I didn’t bother to thaw the potato chips – lazy or easy cooking. Cooking at a higher temperature may result in the outside of the chips being cooked and the inside being raw.
I cooked them for 1 hour and they were sufficiently cooked but one or two pieces were still slightly raw for my taste. I cooked them for another fifteen minutes and the chips were creamy on the inside. I cooked them for another 15 minutes and they tasted good. Cooking for 1 to 1.5 hours at 150’C (300’F) does not make the chips crispy and hard. Now you can call them french fries even though they neither french nor fried. If I had left them in for another half hour they would have become harder as the moisture content of the chips would have evaporated.
While the potato chips were baking I had plenty of free time on my hands so I decided to make a dipping sauce for the potato chips. Actually, I am experimenting making chili sauce. I made a batch about two weeks ago but I have not tried it. It’s a sort of preserved chili.
Homemade chilli sauce for my french fries
This was my second attempt at making a chili sauce and it turned out not too bad, for an experiment. I took half a packet of chilis, you know those small 4 inch by 4 inch packets they sell at Tesco. Sliced them up. Then I sliced a half inch piece of ginger. Ginger always gives a ‘fresh’ flavour. Sliced up three cloves of garlic. Dumped them into a small frying pan and poured enough water to just cover the chilis. Brought them to boil for a few minutes, 3 to 5 minutes, just to kill off any bacterial or unfriendly living organism. After boiling, turned the fire down and added two to three table spoons of soy sauce, two table spoons of fish sauce, two table spoons of sugar and let the mixture simmer for another few minutes. I could have used salt instead of soy sauce or fish sauce but I wanted the umami flavour from the fish & soy sauce. I then switched off the fire and add two table spoons of vinegar and stirred well. I didn’t add the vinegar early as I suspect that the vinegar lowers the boiling point of the water and may result in warming up the bacteria instead of killing them.
Quite nice for a first attempt. I had boiled the chili, ginger & garlic as I was planning to make it like a preserve that has a longer shelf life in a non-refrigerated environment.
I tell you, I finished 1/2 a kilo of chips with the chili sauce this evening and I am too full to do anything else.
This article on baking french fries was researched and written by Peter Achutha